I met Perl at May 2002.
At that time I worked a rental video shop. I want to learn programming language because I want to use some CGI programs (access counter, BBS, etc.)
So I bought "Learning Perl" book, and read it. But it is bit difficult for me then.
Next year (2003), I hired on as apprentice of programmer by a small company. This company sell web application written by Perl. So I challanged leran Perl again. I did not know CPAN at the time.